I was asked to address this question not long ago: A large part of our business is in consumer packaged goods sold through mass-channel outlets such as Wal-Mart. We’d like some insights into how we can use analytics to help us understand the marketing-driven revenue on the retail end. Is there a way we can link POS revenue back to our digital marketing efforts?
Response: Expert Exchange with Greg Bonsib
THE BIG IDEAS
- Capitalize on in-store promotional events
- What drives digital sales likely drives retails sales too
- Hire a lead agency that is strong strategically and analytically
CAPITALIZE ON IN-STORE PROMOTIONAL EVENTS
Coordinate the digital marketing with in-store promotional events. Provide end caps or other kinds of displays with a certain product, which will have its unique SKU. You can use the SKU to isolate the point of sale and the sales for the product.
- You need to establish the base line for sales when there are no special promotions or marketing in the mix.
- Discount for sales lift due to approaching holidays, when sales would increase anyhow.
- You can assume that anything you see in sales above the base line is because of marketing.
WHAT DRIVES DIGITAL SALES LIKELY DRIVES RETAIL SALES TOO
You can use analytics on the online sales to help you understand which of your marketing tactics are working better than others. That is, which are driving sales at particular online retailers, such as walmart.com. Most likely, the tactics that work best for online sales will also work best for the retail outlets too.
- You can look at the halo effect that occurred with the rest of the product line that wasn’t being promoted. Did sales increase for the other products? The more halo effect, the better.
- Planograms are useful tools when you have a history of sales over many different sales channels for similar products. You can compare and contrast the sales at the different retailers. Planograms can help you analyze whether a promotional event in one sales channel increased sales in others, or whether an impact at one retailer echoes an impact at a competitive retailer.
- Use heat mapping to understand the impact of regionality and other variables.
HIRE A LEAD AGENCY THAT IS STRONG STRATEGICALLY AND ANALYTICALLY
Most big companies use many agencies, each with a specific focus, which means that you receive masses of data that is in different forms that is difficult to use.
- Use a lead agency into which every other agency feeds its tracking, analytics, and other data. Icreon Tech is highly recommended.
- This agency aggregates the data. It manages the data wrangling, normalization, and warehousing.
- As a central repository you can dictate how the data is organized. For example, we’ve created three buckets: commerce (revenue), behavior (what people do on the sites), and engagement (click-through rates, and so on).
How can you build on these ideas? Let me know!
Then you need to slow down and put down on paper all the ideas you have to drive sales. This simple exercise will help you clarify your thinking, give the team a vision, and create realistic goals that you can benchmark against.
Simply put, creating and implementing a well-thought-out plan greatly improves your chance of success.
Stop fighting it and write your sales goals down
Success comes in many forms. People in sales are naturally competitive. Persistence and hard work, many times are wasted, when there is no clear direction, strategy, or metrics to mark the milestones that will lead to success.
Don’t cop out and use the financial plan as a sales plan
What it isn’t a Excel spreadsheet with sales targets or monthly budgets that the finance team developed. Nor, does not have to be some long multi-page document that is impossible to follow-up. 2-3 pages with goals, strategies, and actions that will be reviewed regularly and easily is more than enough.
Field salespeople have a unique aspect to their jobs – they have the ability to decide what to do every moment of every day. The need to make this decision – where to go, who to see, who to call, what to do – distinguishes the sales profession from most others.
The quality of this decision, more than any other single thing, dictates the quality of the sales person’s results. Consistently make effective decisions and your results will improve. Make thoughtless, habitual or reactive decisions and your results will be sub-par.
Create focus for your sales team and you’ll help create success
Many companies are missing out on sales because they don’t have a sales plan. Or the one they’re using isn’t performing like it should. Sure, they might have quarterly sales targets or end of year goals, but they don’t have a strategic plan for reaching them. A well thought-out sales plan is a roadmap that helps you gain new accounts and grow existing ones.
5 tips to help you effectively tackle sales planning
- Be patient. It takes time to fully develop your sales plan, so schedule accordingly and be patient. It’s helpful to schedule time to work on your plan, just like you would schedule time for a meeting. Working on your plan in several phases over a time is the best approach.
- Establish reasonable goals. High expectations are great, but you’re setting yourself up for failure if you set goals that are unobtainable.
- Post it. Posting your sales plan where you can see it will help you stay on track and gives the team a sense of where the business is headed.
- Revisit and revise. Don’t shelve your plan and forget it. Your sales plan is a living document that should be revisited regularly and revised when necessary.
- Keep it simple. Your sales plan should be as short and as simple as possible while still fully exploring each element. Reframe from regurgitating your business plan or marketing plan and use bullets, headings and subheadings to break your sales plan into an easy to read format.
An effective sales plan provides you with strategies to acquire new business as well as strategies that expand business with your current accounts. Start drafting your sales plan today and create a plan of action that takes your business to new heights.
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Channel marketers walk a fine line between sales and marketing. But that also allows channel marketers to have a unique perspective in the organization by:
- Intimately understanding the distribution channel and knowing the needs and priorities of their customers – and their customers’ customers
- Being able to build a compelling story as to why their new products and programs will help build their customer’s sales and profits
What are channel marketing’s key roles and activities with Sales?
Channel marketing goes by many other names: customer marketing, trade marketing even sales support or admin are other names for the same role. Regardless of what it’s called, the goals for channel marketing are designed to minimize the conflicts with sales.
- Making the flow of information work for sales, not against them
- Removing repetitive information requests
- Building a faster process between questions and answers
- Pushing information outward
As a result, channel managers strives to…
- Understand customer strategies
- Provide marketing direction & support to sales, product, and brand managers
- Find ways to invest more in growth opportunities
- Co-develop better ways of selling through product inventory
Sales can – and should — expect support from Channel Marketing with…
- Designing & budgeting promotions
- Tracking annual goals to Results
- Joint customer planning
- Building connections with the customer’s teams
- Getting retail & online merchandising support
- Sharing insights within & outside channel with the product marketing team
Who Does What?
|Sales Needs||Channel Mgr||Brand Mgr||Product Mgr|
|Establishing Item Pricing||No||No||Yes|
|Customer Item Distribution||Yes||No||Yes – FYI|
|Unplanned Promotions||Yes||No||Yes – FYI|
|Updates to Products POP, Package, Web||Yes (1st)||Yes||Yes- FYI|
|Sales Needs||Channel Mgr||What’s Needed||Completed by|
|New Item Cost & P&L Impact||Yes||Customer’s potential unit volume||Finance|
|Freight Cost Quotations||Yes||Item, delivery locations & requirements & unit volume||Finance (& Logistics)|
|Unplanned Promotions & Expenses||Yes||Item, units, dates, offer level||Channel & Finance|
|Trade Show Offers||Yes||Items, offers, dates, any Freight needs||Channel & Finance|
|Sales Needs||Channel Mgr||What’s Needed||Completed by|
|Changes to POP/New POP||Yes||Objective of changes, timing & process steps with customer||Brand|
|Website Marketing Content||Yes||UPC, item, data fields that need to be entered||Brand|
|Catalog & Ad Page Designs||Yes||Items, due dates, offer & output needs||Brand|
|Planogram & End Cap Designs||Yes||Items additions or deletions, output needs||Channel|
Channel Marketing is a critical input to the planning process
- Product launch requirements
- Competitive insights
- Market and channel growth
- Who’s winning and losing in the channel and why
- Promotion insights
- POS insights
- AOP (annual operating plan) roll ups
These activities are all being accomplished within your organization but by breaking them out for a separate team to focus on, you will improve your insights, communication and, ultimately, your sales.